Workers’ Compensation FAQs
As a workers’ compensation attorney in Riverside, California, I’m frequently asked the same question by many California employees. For your convenience, I’ve pooled some of the most frequently asked workers’ compensation questions here, with the help of the California Depart of Industrial Relations.
Q. What should I do if I have an on-the-job injury?
A. Report the injury to your employer by telling your supervisor right away. If your injury or illness develops over time, report it as soon as you learn or believe it was caused by your job. Reporting promptly helps prevent delays in receiving benefits, including medical care.
Get emergency treatment if you need it. Fill out a claim form and give it to your employer. Your employer has to give or mail you a form within a single working day after learning about your injury.
Finally, contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. A certified specialist in workers’ compensation is preferred.
Q. Do I have to fill out the claim form my employer gives me?
A. “Yes, giving the completed form to your employer opens your workers’ compensation case and serves to protect your rights and the benefits to which you are entitled.”
Q. What benefits am I entitled to?
A. Workers’ compensation insurance should provide five basic benefits to employees:
- Medical care
- Temporary disability benefits
- Permanent disability benefits
- Supplemental job displacement benefits (if your date of injury is in 2004 or later)
- Death benefits
Q. What resources are available to me?
A. Your local I&A officers provide free services. They are not there to act as your attorney, however. Contacting an attorney provides you with the best resources and chance at securing the compensation you deserve.
Q. I’ve heard independent contractors aren’t covered under worker’s compensation. How do I know if I’m an independent contractor?
A. There is no set definition of this term. Labor law enforcement agencies and the courts look at many factors when deciding if someone is an employee or an independent contractor.
Don’t ever assume you are an independent contractor who is not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits – contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to evaluate this issue on your behalf.
Q. Is a worker’s personal information on DWC forms kept confidential?
A. The division uses this information to administer its duties in claims. Unless authorized by law to do so, the DUW cannot disclose the residence of injured workers or their Social Security number.
Unfortunately, this information does, however, become a matter of public record and is accessible by the parties including the insurance carrier, insurance adjusters, lien claimants, and others who are involved in your case and/or who are affected by your workers’ compensation claim.
Workers’ compensation law can be confusing. Contact an experienced California workers’ compensation attorney for the help and guidance you need.